Motivation for Costly Missions: A Comparison of the Journals of Thomas Coke and William Carey
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ABSTRACT MOTIVATION FOR COSTLY MISSIONS: A COMPARISON OF THE JOURNALS OF THOMAS COKE AND WILLIAM CAREY Barry Mark Morris, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014 Chairperson: Dr. George Martin Contemporary missions senders can employ expediently lessons regarding risk and self-sacrifice learned through the journals of Thomas Coke and William Carey. This dissertation explores these lessons, applies them to the contemporary context, and considers the consequences of applying said lessons. Fundamental to this discussion is the question - Are the motivations, attitudes and practices of Carey and Coke representative of historical and contemporary pioneer missions? Chapter 2 builds the case by turning to the biblical precedent of men and women who sacrifice much on God's mission. Old and New Testament and historical examples are tendered, demonstrating risky obedience in fulfillment of God's mission. Chapters 3 and 4 form the heart of the dissertation, contributing journal entries from Thomas Coke and William Carey. Chapter 3 highlights and describes Thomas Coke's journal, while Chapter 4 addresses William Carey and his journal. Journal entries are gathered and analyzed according to three themes: risk and sacrifice, evangelism and the gospel, and resolute motivation for risky missions. Chapter 5 compares and contrasts observations from the two journals. Coke's and Carey's motivation for missions is examined in light of the resultant risks and sacrifices experienced in the advance of Christ's kingdom. In this chapter the author highlights recent examples of risky missions found in the correspondence and journals of contemporary missionaries and indigenous workers. The final chapter presents lessons learned from the journals as relates to contemporary missionaries and senders. Specific proposals are proffered to strengthen the decision-making processes for risk-management in mission settings. The investigation calls for the examination of other missionary journals and correspondence from various traditions and regions.